We’re Going to Let You Die

1 Dec 2009 /

I will actually give you a speech made up entirely–almost at the spur of the moment, of what a candidate for president would say if that candidate did not care about becoming president. . . .

“Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I’m so glad to see you, and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health-care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. [laughter] That’s true, and what I’m going to do is I am going to try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people. But that means you–particularly you young people, particularly you young, healthy people–you’re going to have to pay more. [applause] Thank you.

“And by the way, we are going to have to–if you’re very old, we’re not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It’s too expensive, so we’re going to let you die. [applause]

“Also, I’m going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid–we already have a lot of bargaining leverage–to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. But that means less innovation, and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market, which means you are probably not going to live that much longer than your parents. [applause] Thank you.”

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